10:05– Sen. Coburn is talking about CMS stating that government regulations drive costs up and that the government’s involvement is 33 percent of the health care costs increases.
10:07– Sen. Coburn is now talking about lawsuit abuse reform and defensive medicine costs. Eliminating lawsuit abuse and defensive medicine costs would save almost $850,000,000,000 annually.
10:09– Sen. Coburn: Incentivizing people on food stamps to eat healthier would reduce costs. One out of three dollars doesn’t help produce better health.
10:12– President Obama is saying that saving money on government health care won’t save money in the private sector. Sen. Coburn quickly and correctly reject President Obama’s assertion.
10:42– Paul Ryan is responding to Rob Andrews on the issue of federal regulations. Andrews says that the federal government needs to regulate health care mandates. Ryan nailed Andrews, saying that organizations like NFIB will do a good job of negotiating health care policies for their members. Ryan then says that governors will do a good job regulating health insurance, too.
Recap from earlier– Sen. Baucus apparently believes that he’s getting paid for each time he says “We’re not that far apart.” Yes, Sen. Baucus, the plans are that far apart.
Summary thus far: The difference thus far is stunning. Democrats sound like their bills are nearly identical to the Republicans’ bill. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sen. Kyl is now highlighting how the Democrats’ legislation would have Washington, DC regulating health care whereas the Republicans’ would trust state legislatures and governors should regulate health insurance.

The differences are significant and we still haven’t gotten into the Democrats’ tax increases.

FACTCHECK– PRESIDENT OBAMA: “It’s Not Factually Accurate. Here’s What The Congressional Budget Office Says. The Costs For Families For The Same Type Of Coverage As They’re Currently Receiving Would Go Down 14 To 20%.” PRESIDENT OBAMA: “No, no, no. And this is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight.”
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “That’s my point.”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Well, exactly. So let me respond to what you just Lamar, because it’s not factually accurate. Here’s what the Congressional Budget Office says. The costs for families for the same type of coverage as they’re currently receiving would go down 14 to 20%.” (President Obama, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

CBO: “Average Premiums Per Policy In The Nongroup Market In 2016 Would Be Roughly $5,800 For Single Policies And $15,200 For Family Policies Under The Proposal, Compared With Roughly $5,500 For Single Policies And $13,100 For Family Policies Under Current Law. The Weighted Average Of The Differences In Those Amounts Equals The Change Of 10 Percent To 13 Percent In The Average Premium Per Person Summarized Above…” (Emphasis In Original; CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Bayh, P. 6, 11/30/09)

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “So It Is True That Some Persons In The So-Called Nongroup Market In The Year 2016, Would Find Their Premiums Would Go Up Without Subsidies. And I Think That Figure Nets Out To About 7%, But They’re Getting Better Insurance.” (Sen. Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/7/09)

FACTCHECK– Senator Reid TODAY: “…no one has talked about reconciliation, but that’s what you folks have talked about ever since that came out.” (Senator Reid, Health Care Summit, 2/25/10)

Reid Spokesman ONE WEEK AGO: “If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstacles and secure enough votes.” (Statement by Senator Reid Spokesman Rodell Mollineau, The Plum Line, 2/19/2010)

11:15– Rush is talking about Dave Camp’s presentation, saying that Camp “is sinking three-pointer after three-pointer with nothing but net.” I agree. Camp was citing specific pages in the Democrats’ bills, only to have President Obama cut him off.

OBSERVATION: This is a pretty stellar performance by the Republicans. Their arguments are solid. They’re challenging the Democrats’ claims. Most cleverly, they’re citing the Democrats’ legislation. They’ve shown the reasonableness of their proposals. President Obama himself is agreeing with the Republicans’ goals.

11:53– Rep. Louise Slaughter is now speaking. Yet another Democrat talking about abandoning “the elderly, the mentally ill” and other victim groups. She’s inferring that only government can take care of these people. This is a deep philosophical disagreement.

12:55– They’re starting to regather at Blair House. The summit should start again in 10-15 minutes.

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